Shirley Bassey’s Performance Of “Goldfinger” At The Oscars: Review Revue

Critics Were Game For The Dame
The 85th Academy Awards telecast might be getting mixed reviews, but if there was one highlight all critics can agree on, it’s Dame Shirley Bassey‘s performance of “Goldfinger” during the James Bond 50th anniversary tribute. In addition to that number, the 76-year-old Welsh diva also recorded the Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker themes, and so it seemed to be a no-brainer for the Academy to have Bassey on board for the homage.

It also seems a given that we’re falling in love with this royal Dame all over again. See how the Internet reacted to Bassey’s big performance at the Oscars below.

:: The Los Angeles Times was smitten with the Dame: “Her voice has lost a little sharpness, but it has still aged into a rather forceful presence, as Bassey spread her arms, and twisted ‘Goldfinger’ into ‘goldfingahhh,’ it was as if she believed at this very moment that the money-obsessed villain of Goldfinger was a real-life threat. As the orchestra swelled, Bassey’s voice remained largely level. She didn’t go to the melody, the melody went to her.”

:: noted, “The stage legend gave a typically effortlessly performance and was quite rightly given a huge round of applause by the celebrity audience, with actress Reese Witherspoon in particular appearing blown away from the rendition.”

:: Screen Crush quipped, “Aside from Adele’s first live performance of the Skyfall theme (and Seth MacFarlane’s sock puppet re-imagining of Flight), the 2013 Oscars featured a video tribute to James Bond… And the cherry on top of the segment was a performance of the famous Goldfinger theme song by Shirley Bassey, proving to the world that she still has it.”

:: Chart Rigger had this to say: “I truly love Adele’s Platinum-selling ‘Skyfall,’ and think it deserved to win the Golden Globe, BRIT Award and, now, Academy Award that its racked up. And while her performance of the James Bond theme at the Oscars last night was truly grand, it was really Dame Shirley Bassey who stole the effing show with ‘Goldfinger’.”

:: was equally head-over-heels: “As many a wine-based analogy has taught us, there are many things that get a whole lot better with age. But some things don’t really have to — they were just fine to begin with. That can be said of the great Shirley Bassey, the singer who immortalized the title theme to the 1964 James Bond classic Goldfinger.”

:: The Village Voice‘s Michael Musto basked in Bassey’s glow: “Shirley Bassey was masterful singing ‘Goldfinger’ as part of the James Bond tribute on tonight’s Academy Awards. She did the song with measured tones, taking her time, and going for the gold (finger). She really throated it out, and by the end, as I was sitting there thinking ‘Will she hit the note?’ she struck it like a gong. A triumphant moment for Shirley and she soaked in the standing ovation like a true diva.”

:: VIBE summed up Bassey’s triumphant performance with this: “You may not be as familiar with Shirley Bassey as you are with her voice. This year’s Oscars marked the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, and what better way to honor that than to have the person behind the classic 007 song perform. Adele may have done a new rendition to the movie’s song, but nothing beats an original.”

What do you think of Shirley Bassey’s performance of “Goldfinger”? Hit us up below with your thoughts, or let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

  • steve


    • steve

      watch the original,wow,. Back in the day you could not be aroused by a black chick, now have at it

  • steve

    she whote the song..


    The dame was astounding sensational performance from one of the worlds greatest performers

  • madison

    yep brilliant and Adele must take a few lessons off her. Adele is great but her diction is terrible….skyfaul, crumbuol, dis is the end…c’mon girl, get some elocution lessons they will be great for your voice if you want to still be singing at 75 like Dame Shirley.

  • Madlyn

    Maybe I missed something, but I found her performance to be embarrassing. She “spoke” the lyrics and when she finally held a note longer then 3 seconds, it sounded terrible. I realize she is up in years, but so is Barbra Streisand. If she has some kind of illness, then I apologize for my honest opinion and give her credit for trying.

    • Greg

      Are you familiar with the song? It indeed has semi-spoken lyrics and short notes, except the last one. I thought it was spot on to the original and masterfully done and brought back many emotions and memories from 1964.

    • Ugonna Wosu

      Barbra did not have a good performance with her weakening voice.

    • Ugonna Wosu

      with Goldfinger, the last note is the most important. By the way, those of you comparing her to Barbara, DSB is 5-6 years older, and watch her in 2007 when she was Barbra’s age, Babs has never sung as good in her LIFE.

      Youtube something other than Adele from here on. There’s a world of talent you Americans are missing.

    • Vermont Ferret

      I totally agree. Flat for most of the performance. Embarrassing. All the raves I’ve seen are a complete shock to me. Just a glorified lounge singer.

      • MTC

        No, no, no…your critique is ALL wrong. As a singer and musician, it’s not the perfection that you seek…but the imperfections that create real character in an interpretation of a song. We call it “phrasing” and it is what makes a singer unique. Here’s a bit that shows how her phrasing, growling, singing with her hands and her facial expressions make her an iconic diva. They didn’t give her title of “dame” because she is lame.

      • Kurt

        Hey Vt Ferret you must be a transplant as a true Vermonter would recognize class. Your comments are absurd for one of the greatest talents of the past century and into today’s.

    • Marcio

      Don’t even go there, comparing Barbra to Shirley.
      She stole the show, Barbra is an artist of her own who happened to be at the right place at the right time, in other words she is a common lucky girl, now Dame Shirley is raw talent at its best, at any age at any time.

    • Marcos Valenca

      Madlyn, you have no clue on what’s a good performer or performance. The Divine Bette Midler herself wrote “BRAVO” to Dame Shirley Bassey right after her performance on Twitter! Midler knows what she’s talking about; she’s a great artist herself. Add to that the fact that I’m not being nice because of Bassey’s age, I’m judging her on her ability today. Just compare her to people like Britney Spears or Lil’kim. The only thing that seems to be certain is that you favor more melodic easy listening tunes like “The Way We Were” to dramatic belter songs like “Goldfinger”.

  • Thommo

    Shirley Bassey is known for clipping hernotes short, almost brutally. Her performance at the Oscars was no exception. Her opening was a bit croaky, making you cringe a bit when she missed a note by half. Poor dear, she is in her 70s, so some leeway. But everyone knows (or should know) that Goldfinger ends with THE big note. So the tension was killing – could she do it? could she do it? could she do it? … she did it. Great finish, and the highlight of the night. (But why was Adele mixed so badly? Couldn’t hear her half the time over the orchestra,)

  • Feldman

    OMG she was good. I’m amazed to see so many deniers.

  • jondaly

    shirley bassey has always been a powerful singer and a great performer. but she’s not — today or yesterday — a great singer. she’s not piaf or judy garland or sinatra.
    but she IS (still) quite powerful.

    it’s interesting to hear brits talk about her. they love her — as they should — they just can’t look at her objectively. Bassey is a powerful singer who is good at doing a certain kind of belting. but she’s not a singer of any subtlety.

    streisand at her best beats bassey hands done. neither woman was at her best last night.

  • Debra Ann

    Anyone who says Dame Shirley is not a singer must not have listened to her recordings. Go to You Tube and listen to “Excuse Me,” “This Is My Life,” “Somehow,” “Feelings,” “If” and the hundreds of other offerings.
    The ears of many people today have accepted the inapt singing or screaming of the so called talent being passed off as “singers.”
    Streisand was so weak, I thought she might be ill. There is no comparison. Dame Shirley is still the greatest singer/performer the world over.

    • Marianne Parisi


    • Monica Myers

      RIGHT ON!!!! YOU GOT IT & YOU GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!…
      So Glad you appreciate what EXCELLENCE IS…Dame Shirley Bassey!!!

  • BDG

    I thought she was Brilliant!!!! She brought the house down at 76 years old!!!!!!

  • Diana

    I am an American and I think Shirley Bassey performance was the only thing worth watching. She is a class act!

    • Jana

      Amen! Shirley Bassey is the greatest singer of all time…end of story

  • Luke

    I have adored la Grande Dame Shirley Bassey for as long as I can remember. With her rendition of “Goldfinger” in 1964, she set the bar for all who followed. Many have tried, but none have recorded a more recognizable theme song than Dame Shirley. Not only can she out-belt anybody, she can coax the emotion out of a song with the best of them. Listen to “After the Rain” recorded in 2009 or “Never, Never, Never”.

    She single handedly made this the best Oscars …. ever!

  • Monica Myers

    EXCELLENCE is Dame Shirley Bassey!!! Yes, She Is All That!!Shirley Bassey Knows What It’s All About! She is a master of her craft & has been for six decades. It doesn’t matter about her age, the Quality & Dynamics of Shirley Bassey’s Voice Cannot Be Denied! She’s in a class All of Her Own and…In MY Opinion,
    She Stands Alone!!! To be redundant, Dame Shirley Bassey Is All That!!!

  • Ron

    I’m a 57 year old American man who has always really loved the Goldfinger theme since it came out in the 60′s. I saw the movie in the theater as a child. But NOTHING prepared me for Storm Shirley!!! I feel like I just met a wonderful and beautiful new friend. She’s in a realm few singers may enter, Tammi Terrell also being one. What a Dame,,, what a Classy, Classy DAME!

  • Joan G Hart.

    The beautiful songs she has sung in her career are now classics and I listen to some of them everyday.. She has said that she was born to sing and I am so glad I was born to hear her sing…may she sing forever…she fills the world with unforgettable music. Dame Shirley Bassey’s “golden voice” will be heard for centuries…

  • veronica

    I’m so glad that THE DAME got introduce to America once more and for them to get to k now her. Its all there in YTUBE see it all and she’ll blow you away. The clarity of her diction not a single word you can’t understand, just a God given talent and it still shows after 60 yrs.

  • ROSS

    Joan & Veronica, you both said it all
    I listen to a song almost every day, so many to choose from-
    every genre , so versatile and totally talented.
    a select few singers , if anyone compares!!!
    born to sing – and thank God she did!!
    critics, oh yes, but unappreciative of the complete,
    enduring Diva she actually is!!!!!!

  • Joseph McNulty

    She started a little uncertainly, and one was initially fearful that she was no longer the old Shirley Bassey because of age (she is 76!) or COPD. He gait was a little shambling; she almost waddled, but I guess that when you are 76, you are just glad that you CAN still walk unaided. But by the fourth bar of the song, the old Shirley Bassey began to show herself and take control. By the end of the son, she was soaring, and the last note was vintage Shirley Bassey (who should probably have done ALL Bond songs). She finished with a pure high note that was dramatic and cut like a knife. I has tears in my eyes. It was probably her “swan song,” but what an exit! “Dame Shirley Bassey” is still quite a dame.

  • pdullea

    Operatic power and projection. Shirley Bassey stands second to none as she has her entire career.

  • Jimmy, Glasgow

    She is without doubt the greatest female entertainer in the world as voted by the entertainment industry in the USA many years ago bravo bassey I am so proud

  • Georgewaters

    She is fantastic! Still singing at her age. She is older than Barbra. The USA are always critics to what is not from USA. Shirley is beautiful…

  • Georgewaters OJEIGBE

    I guess, Adele was narvous probably being her first live performance. I know how it feels to face to crowd the first time

  • Georgewaters OJEIGBE

    She is fantastic! Still singing at her age. She is older than Barbra. The USA are always critics to what is not from USA. Shirley is beautiful. Am still looking for some of her old songs

  • Anthony

    I think people who down Bassey for the most spurious and plain daft reasons are just trying to make a name for themselves or like rattling people. She doesn’t sing flat or talk her lyrics, she is a world class entertainer of the highest order and is dearly loved by millions of people everywhere. If you want to bitch people pick on countless world leaders who suppress and torture innocents…something that matters with resonance…not a woman from a disadvantaged background who against all the odds won through.

  • James

    some of you must be kidding, that Performance was the most extra-ordinarily amazing Thing that happened in the musical world for a long time, Streisand was so very weak, hoarse and croaky in comparison to the forceful legend that is Shirley Bassey. This Performance will go down in history and is incredible for any Age, if you consider she is 76 you really know that she is the greatest singer – male or female – to ever live. also stupid comments about bassey not being a Sinatra, garland or Piaf in Terms of vocals and technique. all those three, Sinatra, garland and Piaf were Superstars and amazing showbiz personalities with fine voices and tremendous abilities as Performers but vocally None of them is anywhere near Bassey. If you want to listen to a really amazing jazz crooner, search vic damone or Andy williams recordings, but Sinatra – though i love him and he had his moments – was never that great as a vocalist, neither were garland or Piaf.

  • helen mallery

    joseph mcnulty waddleing you say? did you consider the weight of the dress dame shirley was wearing? check out you tube , you will see this is the type of dress she wears for most concerts.. she also works out most days.. so how do walk?